Saturday, January 27, 2007

Plot Against Kim Jong-Il Doubtful

South Korean officials denied a report that the North Korean military might have turned on the communist state's reclusive leader Kim Jong-il or that he could be ill. Japan's Jiji Press quoted a South Korean source familiar with North Korean affairs as saying that there was information that something unusual had taken place relating to Kim Jong-il.The source said there was fierce in-fighting among groups close to Kim and that he might be ill, had been put under house arrest by the secretive state's powerful military and was not in the capital Pyongyang. "We know of nothing to back it up," a Unification Ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity. "There are no unusual circumstances." A South Korean intelligence source also dismissed the report. Diplomatic officials in Pyongyang, contacted by telephone, said there were no signs of unusual activity on the streets of the impoverished country's capital.